Your Example is an Example

Johnny Ogletree, III M. Div.
5 min readNov 15, 2017

But when the attendants delivered the king’s command,
Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became
furious and burned with anger. Esther 1.12
Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout
all his vast realm, all the women will respect their
husbands, from the least to the greatest.” Esther 1:20
He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom,
to each province in its own script and
to each people in their own language,
proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household,
using his native tongue. Esther 1:22

Though it would be fun to start a tense dialogue, I dare not ring the bell to start the war of the sexes. Far be it from me to jump into this text and risk every female reader (including my own wife and 5 daughters protest and attack me for discussing the ins and outs of the text), but I will, but in a different manner; kind of.

When looking at this text, I looked at it from the perspective of both Queen Vashti and King Xerxies. Settling on Queen Vashti, I wondered most why she refused to come to the King, but as I read, I wondered if she considered the affect her refusal would have? Sure she thought about how tired she was, and I can def identify with being tired of the “dog and pony show”, but she was more than Vashti, she was Queen Vashti. Much like you are not just Bill, but you are a Father, Mentor, Coach, Teacher…. and your actions and decisions extend far beyond a moment.

Didn’t she consider that her example was an example?

How you respond is translated by those who follow you,
and transcribed into their lives.

Queen Vashti understood that there were potential consequences to her disobedience to responding to the King in the manner she did, but her consideration included like most of us, herself.

Who are you thinking about before you act? And yes, this would be a perfect moment to interject our Lord and Savior, but who are you thinking about? I believe most, if honest, are thinking about a small sphere called “Me, Myself and I” (Irene if you are silly). The moment we are experiencing is so powerful, that the weight of the moment to impact our future and the live of those following us.

If you are like me, you are probably thinking of at least two Queen V moments! How many moments would you like to take back, not for yourself, but for others? Moments where you forgot that people were watching you? Not watching you for the sake of judgement, but watching with the intent to learn from and draw from your example. There are people within your sphere that take notes on your life, and use your example and model as their blueprint.

Or maybe she was just so “fair to look on”
that she considered herself irreplaceable.

It could be possible that she over estimated her beauty and the influence it had over the king. Maybe she thought the favor she obtained from the king through past encounters would ensure that she would be given a second opportunity, or that her disobedience would be over looked once he looked her over?

She was wrong!

And so are we when we loose sight of the privileged we have through the positions we have been placed in. Sad to say, Queen Vashti received the Queen B treatment, and was told to move to the left. Worse, she thought herself to be irreplaceable. Then still found she had to bow down(I’m really not a big fan, but I have 5 daughters!!!).

How many times have you been right, but wrong? She was wrong about the outcome of her decision. Her decision forced the King to make a decision regarding the wife he was so proud and pleased of.

Beyond his anger, both he and his counsel understood that the example set by the Queen would have implications far beyond the King’s castle. They knew word would spread from home to home, starting with the leaders, and work its way down to each citizens home. Her disobedience had the potential to shift the entire direction of a nation. And so can yours!

I look at the state of our homes, our communities, and of course our churches. I wonder how many Queen Vashti decisions we are struggling to correct? How many bad examples were passed down from mothers, fathers, councilmen, senators, pastors and parishioners that we have adopted as acceptable behavior?

As we watch the entertainment industry being unclothed and politicians being exposed, I am not only disgusted by the actions of these individuals (not that I am without sin), but am bothered by those who have emerged to testify that they knew what transpired, but kept quiet so that their means of income would not be disturbed. For every abused woman and abused entertainer, there are multiple witnesses that chose not to speak up for fear not only of being not believed, but being black balled from pursuing their careers. These actions had transpired so long, that it became and acceptable practice in the industry, and they had a start. There was an original casting couch, much like there was an original oral office (Bad Clinton Reference). Somewhere, the abuse and misuse of power became acceptable and idolized and not reprehensible. It was admired by those who desired those positions, and supported by those who watched quietly to keep food on their tables.

Thank God King Xerxies administered a decree!!!! He administered a decree to address the unacceptable actions of the Queen. I wonder how our families, communities and churches would be different had those in power bound together to do what the felt best for the kingdom, not just the King or the Queen? Oh that decrees would have been made before the actions of one or two had become so prevalent that it became an acceptable part of culture.